Basic sciences to get a boost

Providing scholarships to students to pursue higher education under consideration  

PROUD MOMENT: Winners of the Dr. Kalpana Chawla State Award for Young Woman Scientist Mythily Ramaswamy (left) and Noor Shahina Begum after the awards presentation in Bangalore on Thursday. — Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

BANGALORE: To tackle the problem of waning interest among students in basic sciences, the Government is considering providing scholarships to meritorious students to pursue higher education, particularly in life sciences.

Stating this here on Thursday, Minister for Science and Technology Ramachandra Gowda said the Government planned to provide scholarships to students who scored more than 70 per cent marks in SSLC examination and intended to study basic sciences.

However, the scholarships would be limited to students from rural areas.

He was speaking at the presentation of the State Science awards to distinguished scientists and engineers at the Banquet Hall of the Vidhana Soudha.

To kindle interest in science, the Government was also planning to conduct science quiz contests for SSLC and PUC students from taluk level onwards.

With the increase in demand for professional courses, the basic science courses were being neglected.

The number of students opting for basic science disciplines had declined over the years, he said.

Mr. Gowda called upon the scientists to be innovative in their work and strive for the uplift of people in rural areas.

The innovations should be useful to the people in their daily life.

Mr. Gowda, C.N.R. Rao, scientific adviser to the Prime Minister, C.N.R. Rao, and director of the Indian Institute of Science P. Balaram presented the science awards for 2004 and 2005 to 22 scientists and engineers.

The awards were given under four categories — Sir M. Visvesvaraya Award, Sir C.V. Raman Award, Prof. Satish Dhawan Award and Dr. Kalpana Chawla Award. Except, the Raman award winner P. Vishnu Kamath, Professor of Chemistry in Bangalore University, all others received awards from the Minister.

A committee headed Prof. Rao selected scientists and engineers for the awards. The Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST) had been entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating the selection work. The committee did not award the Sir M. Visvesvaraya Award for 2005.

The award winners for 2004 are as follows:

Sir M. Visvesvaraya State Award for Senior Scientists: H.S. Mukunda, professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and M.R.S. Rao, president, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur, Bangalore.

Sir C.V. Raman Award for Young Scientists: Sanjeev Ramachandra Inamdar, programme coordinator, Laser Spectroscopy, Department of Physics, Karnatak University, Dharwad; K.S. Rangappa, professor and chairman, Department of Studies in Chemistry, University of Mysore, Mysore; P. Vishnu Kamath, professor in Chemistry, Central College, Bangalore University, Bangalore; P. Sugandhi Rao, professor and head, Department of Microbiology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal; K.H. Srinivasa, assistant professor, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology, Bangalore; H.P. Puttaraju, professor of Sericulture, Bangalore University.

Prof. Satish Dhawan State Award for Young Engineers: S. Dasappa, principal research scientist, Centre for Sustainable Technologies, IISc., Bangalore; B.V. Venkatarama Reddy, associate professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IISc., Bangalore; G.S. Gopalakrishna, reader, Department of Studies in Geology, University of Mysore, Mysore.

Dr. Kalpana Chawla Award for Young Woman Scientist: Mythily Ramaswamy, associate professor, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mathematics Centre, IISc., Bangalore.

The award winners for 2005 are:

Sir C.V. Raman Award: Channabasaveshwar V. Yelamaggad, Centre for Liquid Crystal Research, Jalahalli, Bangalore; A. Govindaraj, senior scientific officer, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur, Bangalore; Usha Kini, professor of Pathology, St John's Medical College, Bangalore; R. Medhamurthy, Molecular Reproduction Development and Genetics, IISc., Bangalore; Fakruddin Bashasab, assistant professor, Institute of Agri-biotechnology, Krishinagar, Dharwad, and V.B. Nargund, professor, Plant Pathology, Department of Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture, Bheemarayanagudi, Gulbarga.

Prof. Satish Dhawan Award: Ashok M. Raichur, associate professor, Department of Metallurgy, IISc., Bangalore; B.S. Rajanikanth, associate professor and chairman, High Voltage Engineering Department, IISc., Bangalore; Navakanta Bhat, associate professor, Electro- Communication Engineering Department, IISc., Bangalore.

Dr. Kalpana Chawla Award for Young Woman Scientist: Noor Shahina Begum, reader, Department of Chemistry, Central College, Bangalore University, Bangalore.

Anup K. Pujar, principal secretary (Information Technology), welcomed the gathering. M.K. Soorappa, secretary, KSCST, was present.